The Meridian Buying Process: Ten Steps to Entrepreneurship
Step 1: Take ChargeYou have made the decision to control your financial future by purchasing a business. Owning a business is the greatest way to build wealth and take charge of your own destiny. Congratulations for contacting Meridian, you’ve selected the best in the industry! Now the process begins to help find and acquire the right business for you.
Step 2: EvaluationAll buyers should meet their Meridian representative in person, however, if that is not possible due to distance, continuous communication by phone or email can be effective. We begin our process by gathering detailed information about you to establish your financial capabilities, your skills and experiences, and your personal life goals. This information helps us gain your commitment to the process and determine the best types of business to pursue. Once this is completed, we will start your search using Meridian's resources.
Step 3: Funding Your PurchaseBefore you beign narrowing down your list of propsective businesss to purcase, youshould have your finances in order, know your budget and identified your source(s) of funding. Our business brokers can also help you create a buyer’s packet that can be given to sellers, financial institutions and landlords when appropriate in the buying process. Be prepared to complete a Personal Financial Statement that will help demonstrate your ability to acquire a business. Note that while you will be qualifying a business to make sure it fits what you are looking for, the Seller, the Seller’s Landlord, a Visa Attorney, or Franchisor will also be doing the same diligence on you to make sure YOU are qualified.
If you need financing, we can educate you on different sources: selelr financing, 401k rollovers, SBA loans, secured loans, unsecured loans, and portfolio loans. Some sellers will consider providing seller fianncing to a qualified buyer with excellent credit and a solid business plan.
Step 4: SearchNow the hard work begins. We will help you search for your business, aid you in signing confidentiality disclosures, get you detailed information on the business, and set up showings with the seller. We will refine your business search and visit opportunities until you decide on a business to purchase. If your search takes longer than a few months, you may need to return to the education step.
Step 5: Discovery DayOnce it is determined that you are seriosuly interested and qualified in purchasing a business, we will arrange a confidential meeting with the business owner/representative so you may tour behind the scenese and ask any remaining questions you may have about the operation of the business. Your Meridian Business Advisor will arrange and oversee the discovery meeting to ensure confidentiality is preserved and your questions are addressed. It also provides the seller the opportunity to meet the individual(s) that could potentially be buying their business. If parties are not able to meet in person due to schedules or distance, we will conduct a virtual phone conference.
Step 6: Offer to PurchaseWe will share with you our expertise in deal structure, by helping you draft a contingent offer on a business that you would like to buy. A purchase and sale agreement will be presented to the seller with a deposit of good faith held in escrow to demonstrate your seriousness. After any negotiations, you should be left with an executed contingent purchase agreement to buy a business.
Step 7: NegotiationsThis process could involve a tense negotiation period. There is more to negotiating a contract than just the purchase price. You will want to make sure that you not only have a favorable asking price, but that negotiations should be focused on the terms of the sale as well. It is industry best practices, that the Meridian business brokers assist and serve as intermediary between parties with negotiations. We believe in upholding the highest level of ethics and integrity throughout the entire process and duration of our business relationship.
Step 8: Due DiligenceThis period is where you fully inspect the owner’s representations are accurate. We will coordinate the efforts of your legal and accounting professionals and strive to satisfy all contingencies. If there is financing involved your application that must be approved by the lender, proving that you are qualified for repayment of the loan.
Step 9: ClosingFinal preparations will be made for lease assignments, utility transfers, financing, merchant service accounts, inventory counts and any other last minute preparations to make the transfer as seamless as possible. Your acquisition will usually be completed by an attorney with the signing of several documents and the payment of the balance of the purchase price. Meridian will guide you through the process and cooridinate with all the key players to ensure a smooth transition.
Step 10: Post ClosingTransitional training by the seller may include meetings with employees and clients, technical education, computer updating, and other essential knowledge transfer. We will be available to assist you with any questions or post closing requirements you may have. Remember what you have learned throughout this process, because when the time comes, Meridian will still be here to help you sell your business.
Many additional questions may arise during the buying process. Please do not hesitate to have us explain in detail any portion of this process. You will discover that, with Meridian's assistance, you can have a successful experience purchasing and owning your own business.